Everything You Need to Know about Narcissists, Psychopaths, and Abuse - click on this link: http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/faq1.html
People remain in abusive relationships because they lack self-confidence, their self-esteem is shot, not least by their "loving, intimate" "partner", and because they are unable to regulate their sense of self-worth.
There are four common fallacies:
I AM LUCKY
I am worthless, damaged goods. I am lucky to have found even my abuser. If I leave the relationship, who else would want me and where will I find another partner?
THE BEST OF ALL WORLDS
Life is harsh and it doesn't get much better than this. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, but that is merely as an optical illusion. This is as good as it gets.
MY PARTNER IS NOT WORSE THAN OTHERS
Every other partner I may find will have flaws and quirks that I will have to get used to and accommodate all over again. Better stick with what I know. No one guarantees that my next partner will not be even worse than this.
Life is a serious business. It is not about the selfish pursuit of elusive "happiness". It is about meeting your obligations and getting on with it. At best one can expect companionship and mutual support in old age. Anything more than that is self-defeating and destructive wishful thinking.
Western psychotherapy is centered around and focused on the restoration of the individual’s functionality and autonomy and the attainment of happiness.
I have lived in 15 countries on 4 continents and have discovered that only a small minority of humanity adhere to these values and principles. The majority emphatically and often vociferously reject them. Western psychology is vehemently castigated as decadent and a colonial instrument.
Consider the most basic social unit: the family.
In most societies and cultures in the world, the family is sacred and centred around procreation, not recreation: children and property are by far more important than the pursuit of happiness which is considered both selfish and risky.
Why risky? Because to pursue contentment and gratification is to assiduously avoid making the long-term sacrifices required to maintain a harmonious and productive cooperative.
Everything is secondary to these long-term goals. Women tolerate abuse and domestic violence and act meek and subservient to accommodate their bullying husbands. They undergo harmful medical procedures to conform to their ideals of beauty. Spouses - both wives and husbands - accept extramarital affairs and infidelity as inescapable: you are permitted to secure love, intimacy, and sex outside the marriage as long as you sleep at home and make children and business only with your spouse.
Everyone in such societies mocks the more individualistic and rebellious as egotistical exceptions, or casts them as sacrilegious or insane. To maintain the status quo, reactionary forms of medieval religion (the Church) join forces with oppressive patriarchy, inane "psychiatry", and stifling political authoritarianism in most of these territories.
(From the book "Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited" by Sam Vaknin - Click on this link to purchase the print book, or 16 e-books, or 3 DVDs with 16 hours of video lectures on narcissists, psychopaths, and abuse in relationships: http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/thebook.html)